What Must I Do To Make My Husband Come Back Home?

By: Leslie Cane:  I sometimes hear from wives who are so frustrated that they are not being successful in getting their separated husband to come back home.  Often, they think that they have tried everything and, so far, nothing has enticed him to come back.

I heard from a wife who said: “my husband left our home four months ago.  We had been fighting about my career.  I’ve had to do a lot of traveling lately and this left him watching the kids which stresses him out.  It took a huge toll on my marriage.   Rather than discussing it with me or trying to work out our problems, my husband got to a point where he couldn’t take it anymore and abruptly told me that he couldn’t continue to live this way so he left.    Since that time, I have offered up many compromises. I told him that I would prioritize our marriage and that I would find another job.   I found a counselor for us.  In short, I’ve been willing to make all of the compromises and my husband still says he’s not sure that he’s ready to come home.  I try very hard to be patient but I’m getting very frustrated.  My kids miss their dad.  I’ve offered to change everything about our marriage that he doesn’t like.  So why won’t he come back home?  What do I have to do to get him to pack his bags and come back to us?”

Obviously I had no way to know what this particular husband was thinking.  But I do hear from a lot of separated husbands and I believe that I have some insights into what many of them are thinking.  I also believe that I have a good handle on what it takes for many of them to decide to come home.  I will share this with you in the following article.

Often, Husbands Want To Believe That There Is Significant And Lasting Change Because  They Do Not Want To Have To Move Out Twice:   Many husband hesitate to move back in because they aren’t sure if things have really changed.  Many of them suspect that their wife is only saying that change has taken place in order to lure him back home.  The fear is that once he comes home, you will eventually revert back to your old ways.

Another possibility in the above scenario is that the wife might have misunderstood what the major problems truly were.  She assumed that her husband had left because of her job.  However, even after she offered to leave that same job, he was reluctant to come back home.  This could be an indication that there were other issues that were bothering the husband more than the job issue.   I would suspect that as the result of the wife’s travel, the husband felt neglected, taken advantage of, and disrespected.   The wife hadn’t done much to address these things.  And until the husband felt like he was an equal partner in the marriage and that he was valued and appreciated, he might still have doubts about coming back home.

It’s not always clear what all of the underlying issues truly are. Often, the wife thinks that she’s addressing the issues when there may be others that she is not aware of.  Often, there are underlying issues of intimacy, trust, respect, and chemistry that might be important to the husband but aren’t fully explored by the wife.

That’s why it’s so very important that you try to uncover every issue that your husband might be grappling with.  If you don’t have a good handle on this, you can attempt to ask your husband what might be contributing to his reluctance to come home.  A suggested conversation might sound something like: “I want you to come home when you are comfortable doing so because I want us to be successful once you do return to us.  Clearly, you’re not comfortable yet and I respect that.  Could you share with me the concerns that you have right now so that I can try to address them?  My goal is for us to address all the problems or issues that stand between us so that we are both happy and fulfilled.  We both deserve that and so do our children.  I promise to listen and not argue.  I truly want to know and understand how you feel.”

Hopefully a dialogue like this will get him to open up to you and will help to shed some light on what might be contributing to his hesitation to come home, which leads me to one more point.

He Must Believe That He Will Be Happier If He Comes Back Home Than If He Stays Put: The bottom line is this.  One thing that you must do to make your husband come back home is to make him believe that he will happier if he does so.  When he hesitates, it’s usually because he has some serious and nagging doubts about this.  And frankly, the harder you lean on or push him, the worse this can get.  Sometimes, it is better to back up and just focus on maintaining positive interactions between you. If you make your goal to just be happy together whenever you can make this happen, you will usually find that he will come to learn that he is happier when he is with you than when he is not.  And once this happens, he will often logically want to come home because he wants to be where he is the most content.

The first step in making this happen is to make it so that he is happy when he is around you so that he wants to be around you often.  Then, you want to make sure that you’ve identified and addressed all of the doubts or concerns he has about coming back home.  Once you do these things, he will feel more comfortable in coming home because his mind and his heart are no longer dealing with any doubts.

When my husband left me, his mind was made up. He was going forward with moving out and, I believe that he truly wanted a divorce. Thankfully, I realized my tactics were not working and changed course. Eventually, I was able to not only restore my husband’s love, but to get him home in order to save our marriage. You can read a very personal story on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com/

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